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   Unfair Practices  

 

 

Tips for the Top

 

Tips for the Top is my book on Haircare. This is a chapter from that book.

Kindly refer to Tips for the Top or Site map to study some chapters now available in this site. Misuse of hair is a major factor for hairloss. Hence a book on Haircare is functional and relevant for many

 

My background for this section

 

I completed my M.Sc. Organic Chemistry course at BHU, Varnasi in 1966. Between 1967 to 1969, I was at IIM, Ahmedabad, doing the post graduate diploma course in Business Administration - now popularly known as MBA. Marketing was my major area of study. I am a Hair Scientist since 1991

Some of the practices mentioned in some chapters are never taught in IIM  or normally, in any Educational Institute. The Supreme Court had ruled that  "the object is to bring honesty and truth in the relationship between the manufacturer and the consumer" - this is routinely violated with impunity. No one is ashamed.  I may be silenced or face some difficulty for my critical views against companies whose combined sales would exceed 200 Billion Dollars. It does not matter.

 

Blatant Lies

Advertised False Claims by Hindustan Unilever and Colgate

 

Despicable Lies were uttered by M/s Hindustan Unilever and Colgate before the Indian Public. They took their fight for ‘right to make false atrocious claims’ to Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission, abbreviated as MRTPC.

This chapter reproduces some details that they provided against one another. What got proved was that both were cheap liars. These details are in open domain / in my website since 2000 or so. I do not know who is a consummate liar. Or, should I say, incorrigible liar? Or say, shameless liars having no respect for Law and flaunting shallow concern for the Public, who trusted them? I do not know. You decide

If they can lie about Tooth Pastes, how can I trust with hair / other Products?

 

Tooth Paste Market Background

 

Hindustan Unilever entered the Tooth Pastes market in 1969, with Pepsodent [you will wonder where the yellow went was the slogan. But the Yellow did not go anywhere. The product did not click] Then there was Signal also with different colour linings. It did not click either. I think both were in the market with a bit of struggle and posed no threat to Colgate. When Binaca / Cibaca went off, that share did not shift to Lever totally. Then came Close up - but the gap with Colgate remained and never closed up

 

Pepsodent – reentry with a False Claim 

 

Pepsodent got reintroduced around 1995 with the claim that it has '102% anti bacterial superiority compared to an ordinary Dental Cream. Colgate filed a case against Hindustan Lever before MRTPC. Lever's wordings indicated that by ordinary dental cream they meant Colgate Dental Cream.

The commission held that Colgate - Palmolive had established a prime facie case against the ad campaign. ..'..We think it is also necessary to injunct [stop] the Respondent from referring to any specific quantum of anti-bacterial superiority... till its claim of such anti-bacterial superiority is fully established'…

[The case number is Unfair Trade Practices Enquiry No 405 /97. Colgate brought out a small booklet after winning the case against Lever before the MRTPC. This booklet was given to the public against request. Some details above are from the booklet.]

That is, MRTPC protected Colgate from Lever’s ad campaign. What about the Public? Do the Public walk away free for the first offense be it a traffic violation or falsification of name or address?

Why it is a Dubious Claim?

Today is 17th Dec 2013. To this day, Lever has not proved that Pepsodent had 102% anti bacterial superiority compared to Colgate. Now, they both tell the public to brush every 12 hours instead of the earlier 24 hours. It only means that Bacteria production in India has increased many times. They do not lie.

 

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Colgate can bluff better?  Round 2 at MRTPC

Times of India, Ahmedabad, 14th July 1998. Hindustan Lever [HLL] has taken Colgate to the MRTPC now.

 

1. "...HLL has argued that by claiming " two and half times more effective protection against germs, Colgate is de facto making a claim of 250% per cent better protection and anti-bacterial superiority. HLL has alleged that this violates the law laid down by the MRTPC during November 1997, in a dispute between the two companies". 

My views: Lever, the earlier culprit quotes the scripture. Colgate commits the same offence it earlier accused of Hindustan Lever. That is, its earlier posture was opportunistic, mercenary and shallow.

2. Colgate misrepresented facts / lied more  

" HLL has claimed that the level of Xylitol in CDC -DP  [Colgate Dental Cream - Double Protection] is merely 3% percent, which it argues is lower than 10 percent level required for efficacy."

" This is clear from a paper published by Colgate's own scientists which states that the concentration of 10 percent Xylitol is clinically effective in conjunction with fluoride for tooth decay benefits" the complaint allege, adding that there is no published evidence of efficacy of Xylitol in the absence of Fluoride.

Colgate could not establish the advertised claims – false / dubious / unsupported claim

3. MRTPC's limited action: Colgate, I think, was advised to stop using the term "Suraksha Chakra" around the name of Colgate Dental Cream, as it was doing for ages. There used to be an oblong ring around the Colgate toothpaste name earlier.

 

My views

 

Both these companies appear before MRTPC for the second time with case against one another. They know the Law

Yet, they deliberately commit the same offence that they accused of one another. If 102% was questionable, Colgate goes overboard and makes 250% better protection

Both Colgate and Lever are liars.  They duped the Public with false claims. They sell daily use products. When they commit an offence, they should have been exposed and punished. They could have been asked to release ‘true advertisements nullifying the wrong claims’. It should have been double the number of false advertisements. Public benefits with Truth. Other potential offenders fear the application of the Law.

 

Business Ethics in Practice

 

Shri Prakash Tandon -  first Indian Chairman of Hindustan Unilever in India - Convocation address - IIM, Ahmedabad, 1969.

In Business and in Life, there would always be occasions for Hard Choices and Soft options. One should go for hard choices if it is ethical and socially beneficial - recollection from memory, in my words.

Where is Corporate Ethics / Shame / Responsiblity to Society, when you back stab them with Toilet Bars

Reliance loot from KG basin Gas will be in excess of 1000, 000 Crores. read Reliance KG Gas scam. Maun Singh looks on - the most ineffective Prime Minister of recent Times. Man Mohan filed an affidavit of being a resident of Assam. And such a person is accepted to be honest and a man of integrity. The Media barks when it suits them and goes silent with a biscuit or two.

Who will come to your aid ? Only recourse - handkerchief and head ache pills.

 

Beware

 

It is advisable to take this case as a representative sample for the 'unknown side' and be prudent in purchase. There are very many others.

 Times of India, Ahmedabad dated 13th February, 2010: Heading:  HUL Guilty of making misleading ad claims

'.. Hindustan Unilever has been held guilty by a high powered body under the health ministry of making false and misleading claims on its malted beverage 'Kissan Amaze'...

Their claim that the Kissan Amaze would have 'favourable action on Brain Power' is without any Medical Research or Proof.

Was any fine or deterrent action imposed on Lever. No. Lever and others can indulge in dubious claims tomorrow as well

 

 Lever dares to preach ! 

 

Lever's TV Advertisement - June 2009: 'Boys who use Pepsodent do not lie'. They imply in a way that Tooth Paste contributed to that Character Trait. If that be true, what prevented the big wigs in Hindustan Unilever from using Pepsodent every 2 hours, and start speaking the Truth.  I have not seen any improvement in them as of November 30,2011.

Anti Bacterial activity - Lever's admission - 2013

16-2-2013: 2345 hours. Sony Channel, Crime Petrol program

 Mr. Shak Rukh Khan tells his son that 'Pepsodent removes 95% of the bacteria in 2 minutes'. From 102% to 95% ? Quality lowered or Progress in 15 plus years ? The contradiction  claim between 1997 and 2013 is shocking

 

Colgate pretends to be an Angel

Life OK Channel – 1757 hours 17th December 2013: Colgate means Trust ! Trust and cheat are not synonyms. One more lie from the gutter.   

 

Additional Points - not relevant to duping /false

 

1.  I read Vance Packard's classic 'Hidden Persuaders' only in 1971. I became aware of the dark side of Advertising / Marketing. I lost interest in Marketing. Secondly, during those times, Marketing was only 'Distribution' management in many Indian companies

2. 1925 - Colgate and Pepsodent

Colgate advertisement: Soap and chalk [whiting / Lime stone powder / Calcium Carbonate] are the main ingredients in Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream as per their advertised message. Washing action in tooth paste is provided by the mild vegetable oil Soap.

Pepsodent's advertisement does not detail the ingredients. This brand perhaps did not belong to Lever at that time.  Both brands sold dental cream to clean the teeth of the 'film' that coats the teeth and makes it dull / yellowish and weaken the enamel. The advertisements of those times were truthful and sincere to a great extent compared to 2012. Use Google search for old advertisements

3. After 1980 - my view: The dream features in many consumer products advertised on TV, seem to be imaginary fantasies of the copy writers / advertising agency and broadcast by the seller with impunity. Even in the case above, you can note that ingredients included by the research chemists / sellers do not have capacity to provide some benefits adequately. [ xylitol claim ]

  

Toothpastes for Sensitive Teeth

 

Tooth pastes for Sensitive Teeth, with all sorts of claims, have started appearing on the TV from 2012. Why there was not any in Indian Market  before 2009 or how the problem suddenly started now are not clear to me. I shall not be tracking the claims and get irritated. 

Why the Indian teeth has suddenly become sensitive in the last 3-4 years is unclear 

 

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Personal website of R. Ranganathan M.Sc., [ MBA - IIMA]    Main / original content: around 2002: last minor modification, Feb 24,2014
 
Errors and Omissions exempted.  If there be any unwanted oversights, mistake in content or suggestions for improvements,  kindly let me know
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